Higher taxes cut car sales as planned

The Treasury has hit diesel car sales hard as the government wished. They have managed to bring the whole new car market down for a year by pushing up taxes in the Spring 2017 budget and leaving open future tax attacks on diesels in particular. People fear further action by national and local government. It was a surprising policy choice given the considerable work past governments put in to getting more car engine manufacture in the UK.

There have been stenuous efforts to blame Brexit and ” confidence” but the numbers showed confidence and car purchases soared for nine months after the vote, and then plunged as the taxes came in and car loans were tightened by regulatory action. I blame the taxes.

I guess the Treasury is pleased with its work. It has achieved a big planned reduction in new diesels, despite new diesel cars meeting all the government’s own emission standards. It also has the side effect of bringing the UK growth rate down a little to get it closer to the official forecasts.

It probably means the government has collected less revenue overall, as the higher VED will be more than offset by the big fall in tax on new car sales. There is a 20 % tax on new cars, so each sale lost us a big hit on tax revenue.This then means the Treasury scramble around for something else it can impose a higher tax on, which could help slow another part of the economy they do not like. I will highlight some of their other successes in using higher taxes in posts to come.

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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    This is just a defeatist policy. On the one hand they want a booming car industry but have now done everything possible to ensure people don’t know whether to buy a new car or not. Many of us just are not in a position to be able to use an electric model yet. Many simply can’t afford a hybrid and need a larger car for the comfort it offers on a long journey. I am sick of government dictating to me what I can or cannot do when one size does NOT fit all. I notice all drinks containing sugar are more expensive from today too. We are due to change our car in the next couple of years and simply don’t know what we are going to purchase. We would like the same car ad it offers everything we need in a vehicle but fear the taxes will take it out of our reach financially. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Something this government is becoming an expert on.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Awaiting moderation? What’s wrong with what I said? Nothing everyone else hasnt said and I put mine in at 6.40 this morning.

      • Hope
        Posted April 7, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Hammond introduces a new tax on soft drinks, yet your govt allows vending machines with the same soft drinks and chocolate bars in hospitals! Complete idiots.

  2. jerry
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Clutching at straws again to disestablish the link between Brexit and the lack of consumer confidence, Govts have been using cars and the motorists as a cash-cow since before we joined the EEC, before the Commonwealth (the end of hypothecation, in the late 1930s rather than reduce the RF/VED rates), back in the late 1970s govt punished businesses that owned/used “Light Goods” (under 3.5t) vehicles by scrapping the cheaper Light Goods VED taxation band and classing such vehicles the same as for private use (PLG band).

    There might well be doubts about diesel engined cars and vans but why would that cause a drop in new car sales of petrol engined models with low(er) emissions – which as the idea behind the tax changes, not an over all reduction in vehicle sales as you try and imply.

    • jerry
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      As for other (stealth) taxes, one starts today, namely the so called “sugar tax”, revenue of which is not even going to the DfH, so much for this taxes health credentials…

      If Govt was serious about tackling obesity, especially in children, they would have placed a high tax on electronic games, subscription TV and the such, as well as changing the national curriculum to include far more PE and less SATS style testing that does nothing other than give DfE statisticians work. Children used to consume just as much, and perhaps more, sugar and fats etc in their diets, the change is in the amount of exercise, active play being far more common before electronic games and the risk adverse society took over.

      • John C.
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Schools are for educating, not slimming clubs.

        • jerry
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          @John C.; Yes and part of education is teaching children how to keep fit (and thus healthy), theory only goes so far unless it becomes unethical to allow children to engage in the practicalities of the subject, are you seriously that it would be unethical to teach children how to keep fit?!

        • Miss Brandreth-Jones
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          Does education not include the teaching of health?

        • WA Laugh
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Yeah right! In the schools where my children went, there were, surprise, surprise, machines installed by Coca Cola Corp. selling the usual soft drinks and sweet bars, and only those. After the parents Assoc. complained for four years in a row, the same machines owned by the same company started to serve some of the same old stuff, plus still and fizzy water, fruit bars and nut bars, not perfect, but much better if anything allowing choice. It was an example of what I would think a lot of people here would support, i.e. making the consumer king or at least able to make a choice.
          If parents do not care about their children’s waist size and overall fitness level, that’s their right, but please give the parents who care a bit more about these things the possibility of intervening.

          • Prigger
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            Being of the old school and the older end, frankly I do not know what possessed the powers-that-be allowing or even thinking about the installation of snack machines. Is the school situated in the Australian Outback? Are there no shops and local amenities selling snacks?. A walk to them could be a welcome break and a small physical exercise especially in cold snowy weather….knocks the calories off.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


      Again you make some good points, however the higher end quality car makers have been producing low emission diesel vehicles in great number. If you look at trying to find high spec petrol vehicles , currently there are far fewer on offer.

      I looked at buying a Tesla but again the government move the goalposts

      The benefit of choosing a hybrid vehicle was substantially reduced by the Government from 1 April 2017. Only zero-emission vehicles, such as electric cars, qualify for the lowest band and are therefore tax-free.

      From the second year onwards, zero-emission vehicles that cost less than £40,000 new remain free to tax, while a flat rate of £140 a year is payable for petrol and diesel cars that cost less than £40,000, and hybrids cost £130. All cars that cost more than £40,000 attract an additional ‘Premium’ fee of £310 for years two to six of ownership, regardless of their emissions.

      This means that electric cars costing more than £40,000 are no longer the tax-busting option they used to be.

      • APL
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        Libertarian: “I looked at buying a Tesla but again the government move the goalposts”

        Tesla has built its business model exploiting government incentives. If the ‘green’ incentives went away tesla would be a zero and you’ll have a very heavy dead battery with expensive wheels on you hands in no time.

  3. duncan
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    When you refer to the Treasury I am assuming you mean Hammond, his team and his admiring clique in the civil service?

    Isn’t it shocking that the natural flow of economic activity is usurped by political interference and usurped for political reasons. It is that they will deliberately damage our economic interest to achieve a political objective. I find that almost immoral. Why do we have to tolerate this appalling behaviour?

    Under Thatcher we knew that most decisions were taken for reasons other than politics. She was driven by a desire to liberate the person and the economy around us. She tried to de-politicise the economy. She tried to disinfect the economy using anti-Keynes bleach. We’ve now come full circle, once more.

    Most politicians adore Keynes for Keynes afforded politicians a philosophical justification for higher state spending (demand management, as this charlatan termed it). And politicians love high state spending as this allows them to construct their client state (Labour) or indeed finance circumstances that allow the possibility of re-election.

    Hammond is an unreconstructed Keynesian. He views higher state spending as a moral good. He’s another charlatan using our money and our goodwill to finance his political games. Along with the illiberal left leaning May they represent all that is wrong with my party

    I look forward to the day when we have a proper Tory back as our leader. Then maybe we can, once again, vote Conservative with pride rather than with a peg on our noses

    • WA Laugh
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      During and just after the 2007-2008 crisis, Keynesian solutions (maybe unfortunately for people of your ilk) somewhat helped put the economic system into some kind of normality, wouldn’t you agree?

      • mickc
        Posted April 7, 2018 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        No….I don’t think Keynes would have agreed with saving the banks at the cost of the taxpayer. Stimulus by government spending certainly. ..but on projects which promoted employment and produced a tangible public benefit, not saved private gamblers.

    • mickc
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      I wish he was a Keynesian. ..he would then know that to borrow money at low rates for capital, not revenue, spending is beneficial. Infrastructure needs renewing, not money on the bottomless pit of the NHS..

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    All true, but ! I do not seem to have read that the Chancellor and the First Lord of the Treasury are as equally, if not more, culpable in all this. An admission I am sure our kind host would wish to correct 😉

    Let us imagine that the UK economy is one giant pie. There is only so much pie and yes, I am sure some will say that we can inflate said pie if we want to, but let us keep it simple. If the government take an ever larger piece of pie, that means that there is not enough left for the likes of you and me. We then spend less. Spending less means that companies sell less and make less profit. Less profit means less investment. Less investment means fewer jobs. Fewer jobs means less taxes. Less taxes means less money for the government. A bit over simplistic some might say, and of course they may be correct but ! I feel something like this needs to be put in a quite deliberate way to our Chancellor and First Lord, as they seem a little bereft of basic economic sense.

    We call all blame the Treasury but, as our kind host has said on here himself; “Civil Servants advise, Ministers decide.”

    The buck stops at number 10 and 11.

    Have a nice day everyone. I off out shopping 😉

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    The first thing Hammond should do it to cut state sector pensions to the same level as average private sector ones. After all it is the people in the private sector who are funding these. Then get sick leave in the state sector down to private sector levels and release about 50% of the state sector employees (the ones who do nothing of any real value) so they can get some real & productive jobs instead.

    etc ed

  6. mickc
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Hammond is a high tax Chancellor, not a high growth Chancellor.
    If we are to have high taxes, it would be best if the money were spent usefully. Repairing the UK’s crumbling infrastructure would be a good idea. I have little doubt Corbyn understands the point…..

  7. Edward2
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    In addition to increased taxes on vehicles there have been warnings made by local councils that they intend to ban diesel cars (of a yet to be defined type) from their city centres or charge extra tax if they enter.
    Until this policy is more fully defined I and many others have decided to delay trading in our current vehicles for new ones.

    • jerry
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      @Edawrd2 et al; You lot are having a rant for the sake of having a rant!

      How does any current or proposed diesel tax stop/prevent someone from trading-in their older diesel vehicles and buying petrol engined versions? If by any chance you are using medium and large Goods vehicles such taxes are very unlikely to apply as there is little or no alternative. Very few operators of VED classed PLG diesel fleets will be locked into DERV as their fuel.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        No rant Jerry
        Calm yourself down
        The EU had a policy of encouraging diesel engined vehicles because they emitted less CO2 than petrol engined vehicles..
        This chimed with the UK and our Climate Change Act.
        Over many years diesel vehicles grew in numbers of sales in the UK
        Recently the political class have decided that diesels maybe causing air pollution and have done a 180 on their policy.
        Many local councils are looking at city centre bans on diesels or extra pollution taxes if you enter their proposed clean zones.
        And petrol engined vehicles are also being included.
        There is great uncertainty as to what the final proposals will be.
        My car has seen its trade in value reduced by thousands as a result.
        I need to know if my regular journeys will be possible at all or will attract additional charges before I decide to buy another vehicle.
        As I am also told my current vehicle is not popular I have decided to keep running it until politicians local and national decide what they want.

        • jerry
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; It was and still is a rant, you (and others) talked of being unable to change your vehicles(s), you have not explained why, all you have done so far is give weak excuses, not valid reasons – for example;

          “My car has seen its trade in value reduced by thousands as a result.”

          As did driving it off the forecourt, depreciation (sometimes substantial) is always a factor – next!

          “I need to know if my regular journeys will be possible at all or will attract additional charges before I decide to buy another vehicle.”

          Again, if we are talking about PLG rated cars/vans, what is stopping you from buying a low emissions petrol engined version?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            No rant from me Jerry
            Quite calm.
            My vehicle, being an diesel, has depreciated further recently due to all the uncertainty.
            That is a fact.
            I never said I am unable to swop my vehicle.
            I am simply waiting to see what firm policies our Government and local Councils come up with
            They have told me they intend to take action against certain types of vehicles in terms of buying taxes VED taxes and pollution charges to enter certain areas.
            Some of those tax rises have already started.
            In addition.
            My local council and others in areas I visit, are seeking national Govt permission to make large areas of the city centre prohibited to yet to be defined types of vehicles.
            They have spoken about either big extra charges or bans being on both petrol and diesel engine cars.
            So Jerry whilst I have the money set aside to swop I am sitting tight until their plans are revealed.

          • jerry
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Nice rant, once again, blame everyone except your own indecision…

            But tax rates can change each year, thus next weeks ‘fact’ will be next years post budget changes rant when the rates change once again.

            If you are really that worried about future tax rates, both VED and purchase (perhaps), there is only one way to go, buy as low emission vehicle as you can.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            New definition of “rant” from Jerry
            Anything Jerry disagrees with

          • jerry
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever, if it makes you feel better of your procrastination! 🙂

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Petrol is even worse for particulates and additives. The PM2.5 particulates they produce are far more invasive than the PM10’s from diesel engines. A world of all electric vehicles is a worthy target but currently nothing more than a niche product in the immediate future. Personally, I believe that the war on diesel is designed to preserve the fuel for use the aviation industry, where no viable alternatives exist for jet aircraft.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


        I dont know about anyone else but I personally ( not just my company fleet) will not be trading my cars in at the moment . Why? because of the uncertainty caused by the government and councils flip flopping on diesel/petrol/hybrid/electric. Who knows what they will do in the next budget.

        Vans & goods vehicle sales for 2.5t, pickups, 4×4 & rigid 3.5-6t are all UP year on year

        • jerry
          Posted April 7, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          “Who knows what they will do in the next budget.”

          As is the case4 every year, if you do know what is going to be in the next budget and acted upon that knowledge (at least in a business context) you would be running the risk of being accused of insider trading. Life’s full of googlies, what you decided today might not have been the best choice by mid-day tomorrow never mind next year!

          “Vans & goods vehicle sales for 2.5t, pickups, 4×4 & rigid 3.5-6t are all UP year on year”

          That’s my point, working vehicles are bought to do a job…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            There are some radical changes propsed by local and national government regarding extra tax charges and even bans for certain (yet to be defined) types of vehicles.
            And a new MOT test coming in soon with much higher limits on emission test limits.
            Until individuals and companies managing fleets really know what the new rules are they will hold back purchasing decisions.
            Which is what we are seeing.

          • libertarian
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink


            Wrong. The vehicle issues have been fairly stable and predictable for some time. That is until the government decided that they can’t make up their mind which way to go. With local authorities also undecided on what they will and won’t tax the situation is very volatile , therefore anyone with sense who doesn’t need to will not commit large sums of capital until things look a little clearer

          • jerry
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Irrelevant. If you NEED to buy a car or van now, and want to minimise exposure to new tax rates etc. then buy a vehicle with as low a emission level as you can.

            “Until individuals and companies managing fleets really know what the new rules are they will hold back purchasing decisions.”

            Then they will be waiting for a very long time! Taxation rates and MOT rules are always being updates and changed…

          • jerry
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; Wrong, at each and every budget such taxation rates could change, just like any tax, it’s just that many (including yourself and Edward2, apparently) have been lulled into a fails sense of security.

            “Petrol heads”, of which I’m one, might not like the direction of travel but it has been clear for over 40 years now, high emissions of exhaust particulates (from either petrol and diesel IC engines) are unwelcome, emission standards have only been getting tighter, thus they are very unlikely to get easier now, even post Brexit.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            Buy a low emission vehicle….
            Petrol or diesel low emissions vehicle?
            If hybrid then one where the car can drive on its engine for ever when electric power has been used up or the kind of hybrid where the engine helps extend the range of the electric motive power.
            Or pure electric.
            The last one is the only one certain to meet the threatened proposals of my local council to try to ban certain types of vehicles with combustion engines from their cities.
            To repeat myself….Until I know what the rules are going to be I and it appears many others in my situation are delaying a decision on buying another vehicle.

          • jerry
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “To repeat myself….Until I know what the rules are going to be”

            If you are going to wait for a definitive set of regulations you’ll be waiting a very long time, as I said to @libertarian above, emissions regulations have been changing for the last 40 or 50 years.

            You could wait until this time two years hence or when ever and then comply with the regulations as freshly set out, but what if those regulations change again in another 12 or 24 months, thus you will have (for example) bought a new petrol engined car in the then highest permitted emissions band -say VED Band D, but then find later that you are charged/banned from driving into your local town centre because the ever changing goalposts now mean that only emissions band B motor cars are allowed such access. Other than having another rant on this, or similar websites, what will you do in such a scenario -change your car, pay the new taxes or take PT perhaps?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Banning my next vehicle from cities is rather different to regulation changes.
            Until they come out and tell me what their proposals are I am holding back my decision on what vehicle swop to.
            But you carry on Jerry.

          • jerry
            Posted April 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; If you think politicians will give you the water tight assurance you seek then you are more gullible than I thought.

            What do you not understand about the fact that you could be told one year that a certain vehicle is acceptable, only to find the next someone has had a rethink and now the aforementioned vehicle is unacceptable and thus banned (from certain places) – feel free to carry-on procrastinating though!

  8. DaveK
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    If this wasn’t just a blatant tax increase then the government would have promoted Adblue for diesel vehicles including the new technology from Loughborough University. As LL continually points out it does appear that the majority of politicians having swallowed the eco virtue signalling hook, line and sinker. It is quite depressing living through the latest Tulip nonsense feeling like the little boy pointing at the Emperor.

  9. matthu
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    “This then means the Treasury scramble around for something else it can impose a higher tax on, which could help slow another part of the economy they do not like. I will highlight some of their other successes in using higher taxes in posts to come.”

    Here are a couple of ideas:

    They might want to consider taxing telephone calls, text messages and tweets. The rate might vary according to the content and the number of recipients or followers.

    They could later extend this idea by taxing ALL Internet traffic (with the rate varying depending on how far it varied from some government approved metric). For example, searches on one search engine could be priced differently from searches on another engine while particular search terms (especially those returning a high proportion of fake news sites) might also attract higher taxes.

    Another natural extension would be to tax every electronic payment, although in order to keep cash circulating they might also need to consider taxing electronic balances in bank accounts.

    That should get the economy moving, though where to is anybody’s guess.

    • matthu
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink


      Just wondering what is causing my comment to be stuck in moderation so long?

      I think I have complied in most respects and I assure you that I am not privy to any government leak …!

      • Mark B
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Wear it as a badge of honour my friend 😉

        They already tax fresh air via the Carbon Tax on fuel, so not best to give them too many ideas.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Today higher rate tax payers are awarded a higher threshold before paying tax a the higher rate. Also today the secondary earnings level for NI is increased by twice the amount of the higher rate threshold increase thus offsetting any benefit.

    What is the Treasury trying to achieve by this Mr Redwood?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      They are trying to deceive of course. Read Hammond’s rather silly article in the Telegraph today. Or look at his absurdly complex plan to “pretend” he has increase IHT thresholds to £1M by 2020 as promised by Osborne. Not that this will last long if Corbyn gets in. Plus we have the 20% increase in insurance premium tax going to 12% or even 20% from the 1st June and the bonkers sugar tax. Then we have his new double taxation of landlord interest (hitting tenants).

      Just the IPT tax might well cost a family with two cars, travel insurance and a house
      perhaps £300 or more. Higher taxes from here give less tax receipts and damage the economy get real Hammond and stop the endless government waste.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Plus the rather large increases in Council Tax.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          This sort of deception does not command respect.

        • Hope
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          JR, you are absolutely spot on. We blogged this to you ages ago. What will happen to the caravan and motor home industry? Also tourism in this country will be hit through the 5 million caravaners and now motor homes? Why is May allowing Hammond to wreck/ weaken the economy at a time when it should be boosted? Economy was meant to be your govt central plank!
          Hammond has not been reprimanded for the Treasury fake report or leak of the same when it was against govt policy, why? KitKat policy civil servants not sacked,why?
          Your Govt is making a ham fisted mess on every main policy issue. Especially Brexit.
          In Guido today, Morgan complaining to your whips to stop a Brexit rally in her constituency! It is govt policy and she is trying to stop it! Why is she not deselected or reprimanded for failing to promote govt policy?
          Today your Govt tells us what we are allowed to drink with the loose cannon Osborne on TV saying he is proud of this stupid idea! I am an adult and can decided what I want to drink, when I want to exercise- btw, fat boy Osborne tried his best to loose weight- what was he eating and drinking, after all calories in calories out equal weight. Was he not the stupid one who tried to impose the pasty tax!

          • Hope
            Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            You might also call in 2012, the year of Osborne’s disasterous budget, and false promise to eliminate the deficit by 2015, Cameron and Osborne telling us about fake green credentials when on a trip in the US president’s Boeing areoplane to watch a basketball match! Can Hammond remember?

            Good grief JR, your party and Govt appear to be doing its best to appear incompetent, untruthful, promote unimportant PC claptrap when the Country is going to the dogs, overwhelmed with terrorism, crime, mass immigration, failing public services, roads in a dangerous condition, double inflation huge hikes in council tax plus add ons, taxing us at every any opportunity- higher taxation than Labours last term in office!

        • Know-Dice
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          And don’t forget Business Rates (for which businesses get nothing), that is decimating the high street.

        • Wonky Moral Compass
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          +5.8% for us in North Herts for a reduced service and we now have to pay extra on top if we want our brown bins for garden waste collected.

          • Capt Mannering
            Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            If you remember the strategy in “The Great Escape” on how to dispose of soil from underground tunnels. Just secrete the compost in an attached bag to your ankle, with a string pullcord. When surveillance cameras are not present in your own town centre release the compost and vacantly kick it around. Within a year, if everyone pulls together as a team, the market squares in every town would be six foot thick with manure, and at no cost to you and other tax-payers.

      • acorn
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        You can follow the trends in government tax receipts, monthly, at:
        The taxes you mention are there in a format that will be familiar to SME finance people. See the “year to date” figures and the % difference to last year. Row 37, “Vehicle excise duties paid by households”, shows Mr Hammond is already 7.6% up on last years takings.

        Reply But down on car tax

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    In six years the £50K threshold for the removal of child benefit has not been increased trapping many through fiscal drag. In those six years no account has been taken for two earning parents earning £30k each who still receive full allowance. This punishes successful single earners while ignoring the earning levels of dual income families. Therefore it is political targeting rather than revenue saving.

    A similar argument can be made for increased tax paid at £100K and £150K.

    What is the Treasury trying to achieve by this Mr Redwood?

    • John C.
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the single/double income anomaly is “political targeting” so much as total incompetence.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        I disagree, they are able to account for dual incomes when deciding whether or not to dole out tax credits so their incompetence knows some bounds.

        It garners more soundbites to say that the “rich” on over £50K £60K, £100K or £150K are paying than to qualify this by saying we will withdraw the allowance from two average income earners in the same household.

        Wholly intentional just as John McDonnell targeted the £80K earners as it meant “they” would pay more not “us”.

    • Miss Brandreth-Jones
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree here. Does John have a theory as to why the treasury have done this? They cannot be so obtuse to understand what they have done surely?

  12. Richard1
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Yes Thats it – tax something more, get less of it. Seems obvious & indeed in the case of diesel cars, cigarettes and sugary drinks that is the express objective (probably with the quiet hope that it won’t be too successful so the revenue comes in). But why doesn’t this logic apply to work and entrepreneurship? The Conservative Govt still has an uncompetitive 45% top rate of income tax, 28% CGT and has succeeded in forcing out loads of high tax contributing foreigners with the non-Dom tax. All virtue-signalling gesture policies. Post Brexit we can’t afford this, the U.K. will need to be relentless in making rational policy choices.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      A rational & simpler taxation system at sensible levels would do wonders for the economy and even for tax receipts.

      Hammond must go he is doing huge harm.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      “The Conservative Govt still has an uncompetitive 45% top rate of income tax, 28% CGT and has succeeded in forcing out loads of high tax contributing foreigners with the non-Dom tax.”

      Trouble is there is nothing Conservative about May’s Government. They are Conservative in name only but socialists through and through thinking of ever more ways to tax and squander our money. May is more concerned about gender equality and getting us a bad deal from the EU than trying to lower the tax burden. Add another 9p to the exorbitant 45p top rate above for those graduates in England with meaningful degrees who get well paid jobs. No doubt many of them will take their skills elsewhere – what a waste. This Government haven’t got a clue. It is fortunate for them that HM Opposition are even more socialist and clueless.

      • John C.
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        What you say is, as far as I’m concerned, irrefutable. Most true conservatives would agree.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Between £100K and £124K those (fortunate to be quite so well paid but…..) students will be paying a marginal rate of 71% taking into account 40% tax, student loan repayment, NI and withdrawal of the tax free allowance. Throw in 20% VAT, cigarette and alcohol duties and sugar tax on spending earned income and the student may even have negative income after tax.

        • Student
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          I know many science & engineering home and international students at university who have no intention of staying in the UK after their undergraduate/graduate degrees. The government hasn’t been pro active enough in encouraging talent to work here – in my opinion there should be much more assurance given to high-skilled workers, academic funding and entrepreneurship post-Brexit than is currently being done so.

          All that comes out is equality nonsense, more taxation, and bickering about whether or not to decrease student loan interest rates by fractions of a % to win a couple of votes.

    • eeyore
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Every pound the government doesn’t grab is a pound more for the real economy. Sounds thoroughly Conservative to me.

      Taxes used to be very difficult to collect and that put some limit to the insatiable rapacity of governments. Now, it seems, all that stands between the predator and his prey is greed and incompetence.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    How about a tax rebate on those of us who called it right and ran petrol because we never believed in diesels anyway ? Overly complicated running on a dirty fuel – it had to be too good to be true.

    The early scrapping of servicible diesel cars and their replacement will cause far greater emissions in the long run.

    Why not a system of rewards to go petrol instead ?

    Always a punishment tax, isn’t it. Even when it’s the government’s fault.

  14. MIke Stallard
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I am getting tired of people in very big cars dictating what kind of cars should be on the road. I am getting tired of big fat men and women telling us how much sugar we ought to eat and how much alcohol we ought to drink too.
    Meanwhile knife crime is soaring, police are not investigating “minor” crimes like housebreaking and burglary.
    And the government is seriously at sea over Brexit.
    We need a lot of improvement fast or the Labour Anti Semites and Chavez impersonators will take over the government of this country.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Sugar – always a blanket punishment tax

      Knife crime – while grandparents are barred from carrying hobby knives. Always a blanket ban. (Ganstas rampage anwyway)

      Whenever will the government target the people who are the problem.

      Political correctness is a cancer that will destroy this country as we are seeing in London. This will spread.

      The government’s solution is to build housing estates in every vicinity and disperse gangsters everywhere.

      We hit the reset button on Brexit.

      We will hit the reset button on the useless Tories.

      A dose of Corbyn is what it will need to make people yearn to go Right again.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Ahhh ! The seventies 🙂 Endless candlelight dinners – no electricity. The perfume in the air – rubbish piled up on the streets. The cuisine – you ate whatever was on the supermarket shelves. And of course, the unburied dead. Such memories. Of course, it destroyed Labour for nearly two decades and would have continued had it not been for the man-in-grey underpants 😉

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The police certainly seem to have totally given up on most crimes in my experience. Other than attacking journalist, historic alleged sex crimes and hate crimes it seem.

      They even announced it for shoplifters up to £200, to encourage them one assumes.

      Is that per day, per hour, per shop or per incident?

      • Peter
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        It is referred to as ’Anarcho Tyranny’ by Sam Francis the American paleoconservative.

        “What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through “sensitivity training” and multiculturalist curricula,”

        So we see a 78 year old handcuffed and imprisoned for two days for killing a burglar who was attacking his home. Sadiq Khan worries about unkind remarks on the internet, while the murder rate in
        London surpasses that of New York.

        Don’t expect the Conservative party to address this. They are part of the problem. The parallels with America’s Republicans are plain to see.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Me too, also of people who spend millions on their personal travel bills while lecturing us all on global warming and C02 “pollution”.

      • Hope
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Papers today write how Overseas aid is up to £14 billion! Cameron now calling for money to corrupt regimes to be cut! This is the same idiot who started this totally reckless give away of our taxes.

        • John C.
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think he started it so much as made it compulsory. I’m not sure which is worse.

          • Timaction
            Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            No. Cameron is and always was a true genius who wanted this as his lasting legacy!!! NOT. It’s just us tax paying mugs being made to pay for all the politicos foreign causes whilst living in a Country that’s going to the dogs because of the current politicos policies as well as additional Council tax to pay for elderly social care. At the same time Amber Rudderless has invited all EU pensioners to join their 3,000,000 immigrants here for free pensions, housing, health and social care!!!!

    • sm
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Mike, I’m sure you were as ‘delighted’ as I was to read today that a new Chief Constable has told his officers’ male voice choir that they must admit females. How can we sufficiently applaud such brilliant prioritising?

      As for the Treasury, I can only assume that the Russians have been tampering with its water supply, adding a toxin that, while not fatal, induces permanent idiocy.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Dear sm–It is what I have said here a number of times (JR doesn’t much like it) viz there too many women who have allowed themselves to be persuaded that they don’t really like being women and wish to be not just equal to but identical with men. There are a lot of women who don’t like this but they have at least for now been swamped. La donna e mobile I have heard. When I was younger the lowest of the low was a man whose wife, once she had a child, had to go out to work–I believe the WI was formed to fight for women to be able to stay at home. Did anybody ever work out why the Good Lord and Mother Nature made two sexes? Is it sexist to say sexes? Why isn’t it “genderist”? Stuff the lot of it.

        • Noses its true
          Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          Without women men would just stay at home not go to work and play cricket and football all day. God detests sport and men

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Indeed I had not yet seen that lunacy! Did any women actually want to join it? If one women did join how would one get the voices to blend properly one wonders.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Dear Lifelogic–Of course they want to join this male voice choir–and everything else that is quintessentially male–and the more male the better–Examples abound but think of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery–In my opinion an insult to the memory of the men that had to work these guns including all the limbering in mud with heavy horses, which today’s women only kid themselves they would have wanted and been able to do–Today of course it is just a lot of fun surrounded by men and well behaved horses but to me it is just a plain disgrace.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Are you not aware that a degree in stupidity is essential for the high offices of state. How else would they be so EU centric, have UK passports printed in China. Give the French government a 35 year contract to supply electricity at 3 times the pool price.
        You would have to dig very deep to find a more stupid bunch of morons than those ruling us at present.

        • Timaction
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Apart from the previous morons under Brown and Blair who perfected disingenuous policy statements and learnt the art of how to bury bad news. The Tories have taken on the mantle for the latter. Free movement for peoples from Croatia from June anyone even though we’re leaving the EU!?!?

      • Mark
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Doubtless there will be a flood of applications from female tenors and basses, all capable of singing an octave and more below middle C, as required by the music.

        • Timaction
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Can I now join the Women’s institute or will they be banned from making tea at the time of major incidents for the emergency services???

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      The Skripals (or at least one of them) may recover from Novichok but will (what remains of) Brexit?

    • MickN
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I saw a press release from Mayor Khan a while back where he was crowing about having over 900 “specialist officers” trawling the internet for instances of hate crime. Might I suggest that instead of blaming government cuts he transferred 800 of them onto the streets to deal with the real hate crime that is being carried out daily with knives and the guns that Alan Michael said he had “taken off the streets” when the knee jerk reaction to the appalling events in Dunblane meant that our Olympic shooting teams have to go abroad to practise many of their disciplines.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May attacked the police (crocodile tears and wanted more for less) and inhibited stop and search………….and now we have an acid/knife epidemic. Go to the top of the class Mrs May and take the National 20,000 police officer cuts with you!! At the same time of the highest threat to our National security. That disclosure played out well in the election campaign. Still, she did say “Enough is enough”…………………… but that’s all she did say or DO!!

  15. Martin
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I find this debate about car sales odd. Did the very cold beast from the east not have an impact in car sales in March?

    Who is going to head off to the local BMW /Dacia/whatever dealer if they need a snow plough?

    P.S. at least the security check gave me car pictures today!

    • graham1946
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      The Beast from the East was all to do with Brexit.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      was the beast from the east due to brexit or to global warming? i get confused what we’re supposed to blame these days.

      • John C.
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Apparently the exceptionally cold March was due to warming. Our climate doesn’t count, you see.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        I heard it was the Russians that did it 😉

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Just another dumb episode in how not to run an economy and being totally ignorant of basic politics i.e. common sense.

    Today the vexed question of student loans shows another example of we have a problem let’s complicate it. Increasing the threshold fine, but why not for all student debts?

    Same with stamp duty – relief for just first time buyers – why not all buyers below £500k.

    For me simplicity is a big key to business success, the lack of it is why government cocks everything up.

    • Andy
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Alas – we tried simplicity. It meant there were no rules.

      And unscrupulous bosses exploited it – with children down mines 7 days a week for 15 hours a day.

      The rules you rage against keep you and your family safe. They make sure the food you eat will not kill you. They make sure the products you use are not dangerous.

      200 years ago they tried your idea of no rules. It left lots of people dead and lots of people sick. Most people have learned the lesson.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        When were there no rules?
        What year was that?
        Ridiculous post again Andy.
        No party will get elected with a no rules policy

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        So why no rules on borders ?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Can you not compromise? It is always all or nothing with you Andy. No middle ground with you. He didn’t ask for no rules he begged for less complex rules that worked for real people.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


        You truly are ignorant on an epic scale

        The Coal Mines Regulation Act was passed on 4 August 1842

        You also have some front, you being the man who told us you will be laughing as you sack your 30 employees .

  17. Ian wragg
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    No doubt May and Hammond are conspiring to keep growth down after Brexit by keeping us in alignment with EU policies and no doubt continuing shovelling shed loads of money at Brussels.
    What is the government doing about the thousands of EU registered bangers driven by the immigrants. No tax or MOT and ignored by the police unless they’re involved in an accident.
    They are the real polluters.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      In London they should contract it out to the people who do the parking fines, the ability for them to check people have car tax and fine them, they are super efficient and effective, but I wonder how many of the fine notes they issue get written off to ‘visitors’?

    • Timaction
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      They need to get between car cleaning places or handing out the Big Issue some how!

  18. L Jones
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Sometimes it seems Mr Redwood’s support for his party is wearing thin!

    It certainly feels as if the Government is determined to alienate its core voters. I suppose this is what happens when so many MPs are (or appear to be) in thrall to the execrable EU. Why is the Treasury so determined to make the dire prophecies about Brexit self-fulfilling? Isn’t the well-being of the country more important than being able, in the end, to say ”We told you so”?

  19. formula57
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    So casting off the Evil Empire is not sufficient, we must cast off Hammond’s Exchequer too. Soon may it happen.

  20. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    ” It was a surprising policy choice…”

    I cease to be surprised by the nonsense that emanates from Westminster nowadays, it’s as if they’re using the Lewis Carroll book “Alice in Wonderland” as a template for their policies.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      That’s what the Russians are saying too!

  21. Michael Wood
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I can sense John’s exasperation again this morning!

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too but, sadly, as with Labour moderates who will not do anything about Corbyn, Mr Redwood will not do anything. Party loyalties are so deeply entrenched tbat most MPs are ultimately compliant. Principle, common sense, morality and people can go hang.

      Reply Democratic politics is about both views and votes. If you want to get things done in a democracy you need to work with others of similar mind, with give and take. If you set out a unique suite of views and policies and not work with others you can be very lonely.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        How’s that working out with Brexit Mr Redwood? When are the Brexiteer’s taking any action on being a supplicant state for 21 months during the extension!??

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted April 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        A form of gang culture without the knives, but with threats and punishment nevertheless. I have not forgotten how Mr Carswell was treated and spoken of when he decided to leave the Tory gang. Vilified and ostracised. His democratic freedom was not respected. He was treated badly. Safer to toe the line in the end.

  22. agricola
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    So you do not like this vendetta against the diesel engine either. Nor do the general public who were encouraged to buy diesel or the vehicle manufactures who realise we are run by idiots , but carry the cost.

    All the blame cannot fall on the Treasury clerks who are there to advise and implement policy. The prime culprit has to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree well qualifies him for making scientific and engineering judgments. I know you do not like me equating him with Sir Godber Evans, but please accept that we have different ways of explaining the same thing.

    Ultimate responsibility rests with the PM who is equally well qualified to make such decisions, however that is where the buck stops. Why do this generation of UK citizens have to suffer such mediocrity of leadership and an alternative which is to hell in a hand cart.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    If tax income is down because of the diesel policies, where are we going to be hit next?

  24. David L
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    So much contradictory advice is sloshing around about diesels, petrol and electric powered cars. It’s no wonder sensible folk are refusing to buy new and highly depreciating vehicles and either keeping older ones well maintained and driven responsibly or buying properly inspected used cars from reputable dealers.
    And while we’re on road transport, why are newly resurfaced roads afflicted by drain and other steel covers being at a different level to the new surface? This increases wear and tear on all vehicles and is hazardous to cyclists. I have in mind the road past Wokingham station, but it applies everywhere. Is it due to the incompetence of contractors? Or is it deliberate to act as a traffic “calming” measure?

  25. Monza 71
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I posted :

    “Of much more concern should be the 15.9% fall in car sales in March which can be blamed on Government indecision and the Chancellor’s penal rates of Road Tax.

    Frankly, nobody trusts him not to increase car taxes still more and, like me, they are not risking buying a new car because of him.”

    I would like to know if our host genuinely supports this policy or has simply adopted a neutral position for party political reasons ? In the past John has been very much against punitive taxes that end up reducing overall revenue. ( CGT springs to mind ).

    Personally I think for the chancellor to put at risk future inward investment, thousands of current manufacturing jobs here in the UK and to have an adverse effect on our current low rate of growth is utterly daft.

    The Government needs to make a decision on which is their preferred road fuel, announce it publicly and then stick to it. They can’t say electric because they won’t put in the millions of necessary chargers and would need to build an extra nine Hinckley Points just to provide power for the nation’s cars.

    On the punitive rates of road tax. These apply to mid-range cars as well as luxury ones. If Hammond really wants to do this he should lift the starting point to £60,000, the point at which the luxury end of the market starts.

    But why ? He already gets £12,000 in VAT on every £60,000 car sold so if his penal rates of VED reduces sales by 20%, he’s actually worse off ! Ridiculous !

  26. Epikouros
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Philip Hammond exposed his incompetence and credentials with this tax and of course by his stance on Brexit. Being in the remain camp like all those who have faith based beliefs(yes the EU is faith based as no evidence exists that proves it does or is capable of providing us with better than we already have. In fact what evidence there is states the opposite) is a good indicator that a person’s thinking is deeply flawed. We should be very suspicious of those who are hooked on ideologies and dogmas religious or secular. Giving them positions of responsibility should be considered with some trepidation as it may bring with it unpleasant consequences.

    Faith based beliefs are of course not the only indicator that a degree of flawed thinking is involved. Criminality, bizarre behaviour and subjective and emotionally based judgements give the same message. Ironically using those measurements the result is that the vast majority of the worlds population can be said to be guilty of flawed thinking. No wonder we so often get things wrong and despair impotently at the consequences.

  27. Adam
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Govt uses tax as a tool to change negative behaviour. Doing so is sensible. However, tax carelessness causes knock-on effects & complication, as well as other negative outcomes.

    Most tax is needed solely to raise money to enable Govt spending. Why does Govt create a needlessly-complicated mixture of taxes, just to generate its own income? The mix muddles lengthy ambiguous rules with billions of fragments, & bewilders payees.

    3 simple fundamental sources may be adequate for Govt Income Generation. Govt financial methods to encourage Behavior may function better as the 4th, dedicated budget category; raised via fines & spent on goodness.

  28. BOF
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Makes sense; socialists doing what comes naturally, social engineering. Why do we keep seeing the type of policies as threatened in the election Manifesto that resulted in such a poor election result?

    OT. Yesterday my cousin came around. A lady who reached the top of her profession, headed a department and had two children along the way, now retired. She thought that Mrs May’s gender pay reporting was a complete waste of time and earnings are part of the choices people make to lead their lives in the manner they desire!

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I remember the grim days of high taxes. That’s why we are determined to bring them down says PHILIP HAMMOND today.

    So why does he keep putting them up hand over fist at every opportunity one wonders? Does he think we are idiots and do not notice?

    You need to stop pissing money down the drain on endless government nonsense. From here cutting taxes will raise more anyway, as would tax simplification – get a grip man or go!

    • Hope
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Hammond forgot that we all got this month a whopping 6 percent hike in community charge the highest for fourteen years, plus add ons like flood defence and adult social care so we pay for the same thing three or four times in tax!

      Papers today saying how overseas aid has topped £14 billion, this is our taxes the idiotic Govt is giving away while stinging us at home!

      • Timaction
        Posted April 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        That’s much more (£14 billion) than the entire budget for the Police in England and Wales. Now we can see the politicos true intentions. Foreigners needs or the people of England and Wales safety. Don’t need to write anymore after 20,000 deliberate cuts!

  30. BOF
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The Government may well have jumped the gun over diesel. With ACCT it appears that it can be cleaned up which could make it better for the environment than electric cars.

  31. Rambler
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    People should walk more. It only takes a couple of hours to walk say from Salisbury to Porton Down. The fresh air will help clear the lungs and restore you vital fluids.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      It looks like everyone will be right as rain soon- almost as if nothing had ever happened-apart from the cat and the guinea pigs of course;perhaps the government could arrange for them to be awarded one of those animal bravery medals,posthumously.

      • Rambler
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


  32. stred
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The decision to eliminate diesel cars has to be part of an international agenda. The protests about dangerous pollution coincided with others in Europe and are based on American studies of the effect on lifespan. However, these are disputed and the condions were not the same as in Europe or with vehicles with newer performance standards and filters. The lie was put about that diesel kills 40k people every year. You can see the head of Cleanairlondon claiming this on an RT interview. In fact the figure is concocted as an expression of the very small shortening of lifespan multiplied by the whole population, so removing diesel cars altogether would make little difference as we would just die a week or so earlier and it would not even be measurable.

    The Mayor of London plans to eliminate diesel cars from central London, as well as petrol and gas boilers and woodburners. On the figure given by Policy Exchange called Up in The Air, last year, by banning all diesel cars the extension of lifespan would be 1.28 days for particulates and 7.35 days for NO2. This would be for a person living the whole of their life in the centreof London. Elsewhere pollution is lower. Overall pollution is a fifth of what it was 30 years ago.

    This year the estimate of diesel car NOx emissions has been changed from 5% in the central ULEZ zone to26%. Vans go from 5 to 18% and taxis from 7% to 16%. But TFL buses reduce from 16 to 14% but non TFL buses go up from 5 to 8%. How this is achieved is a puzzle, especially when their own charts show new diesel producing les or no NO2 using Adblue. Two additional authors contribute to the new Up In The Air and the message is – ‘In hindsight, the shift from petrol to diesel vehicles over the last 15 years has been disastrous in terms of its impact on air quality and health. There needs to be recognition at European, UK and London that diesel has been the primary cause of the current airpollution crisis….’ But their own figures and charts show that pollution in PMs has reduced and NO2 rose slightly then reduced. Children who are paraded with placards begging diesel owners to stop killing them are actually breathing cleaner air than their parents and grandparents and their lifespans are longer.

    etc ed

    I have emailed JR the analysis.

    • APL
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      stred: “You can see the head of Cleanairlondon ”

      Had a quick look at their web page. Can’t really see their income source, 100:1 it entirely derived from government or EU sources.

      A government funded body, lobbying government. Cozy.

      Once upon a time, a body like CAL would have been called a QUANGO and the Tories would have been advocating shutting it down. Those were the days.


    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      stred: “I have emailed JR the analysis.”

      JR: “etc ed”

      There you go. That’s how much thought this Tory ‘democrat’ will give your analysis.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    London knife crime and the recent burglary are really showing your government up at the moment.

    When does the nightmare of political correctness and soft sentencing end ???

    • Mark
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t that more a question of how the Mayor and Cressida Dick have chosen to prioritise the activities of the police? The problems were much less under the previous administration, although not helped by the decision to cut back on stop and search taken by the previous Home Secretary.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May stopped stop and search as Home Secretary.

  34. The Joke stops here
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Will Mrs May appear in the House at the next PM Question Time driving a small Noddy-like car along with Mr Gove in the passenger seat? Which one of them or both will wear a top hat with a large paper sign on it stating 5s/9d ?. You see most British people haven’t quite go the joke yet. They really do need telling they as a people are having fun poked at them every single day. A tax, to stop car production and buying indeed!!!! Let’s roll that out to a full salary and expenses 100% tax on MPs . Now that does make sense

  35. Dan H.
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I confess that I am rather disappointed with the government managing yet another pesky sneak tax. As things stand, no modern diesel meets the newest emissions standards, so a crafty tax hike on every vehicle is the net effect of the taxation.

    A fairer (though possibly not better) policy would be to hike the tax rates of the most polluting of vehicles, regardless of what they are, to encourage their replacement with something less harmful. It would also be most useful to assess which pollutants are the most harmful.

    At present, nitrous oxides seem to be the chief bugbear, but I really do wonder if this is not because they are easy to measure. Micro-particles are probably equally harmful long-term, but are harder to quantify and it is much harder to work out what the source of these particles is. Diesel soot, tyre dust, brake dust and catalytic converter debris all produce dust, and this ought to be also considered as a pollutant.

    • Stred
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      NO2 is defined as a lung irritant. PMs cause diseases such as cancer and COPD. But PMs have reduced greatly after filters were introduced 14 years ago. So NO2 has to be the target in order to push the agenda for electric cars. But these produce the same PMs as ICE cars from brakes and tyres. Ie 60%.

  36. graham1946
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Higher taxes cut car sales.

    At the same time they give the wealthy who can afford 30 grand to buy an electric car as a second vehicle (they are never going to be practicable as a main car) a bung to buy it and no road tax so they contribute nothing to the exchequer whilst the poor who can only afford to run a cheap second hand car, running on petrol or diesel face high road tax and fuel taxes. This is old style Toryism. Socialists they aint.

  37. Lahdedah
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Don’t understand it- Two days in a row now we have about cars and taxes on cars?

    Hands up all those who live in their cars?

    So don’t buy one if you don’t need one- or live somewhere else near public transport and shops etc if you don’t want one..

    Lets think about it ..The car purchase cost..car road tax, Insurance costs, Fuel cost and all with added taxes, then depreciation and road test cost and fines costs- better do without if you can.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      ‘Do without a car if you can’ i.e. if you live in a city with an entire self-contained infrastructure and joined-up transport system. (And the high property prices that go with it.)
      It is perfectly obvious that vast numbers living in Britain do not have that choice.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Lahdedah: “Hands up all those who live in their cars?”

      That’s probably the ultimate goal of the ConLab uniparty economic policy.

      If it’s not, please don’t be giving them ideas.

  38. ian
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    No surprise to me, things to get lot worst when going into the 2020s, full blow depression on the way, no doubt the labour leader will be there to take the blame just as it starts.
    Con party shutting down three more coal power station this year, and have managed to shovel another 12 billion pounds to date out of the door to places overseas combined with another few billion pounds on people coming to the country.

    To date, the con party has managed to spend and waste as much money as it would take to bring down the yearly UK debt to less than 20 billion pounds a year and at the same time restricted growth in the UK by over 1 percent, through their policies, to date.
    Mainly by pay growth which is negative expect in the boardroom which makes up most of the 2% pay growth figures which they tell you about and extra taxes.

  39. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The Police arrested a 78 year old pensioner who defended his disabled wife against violent criminals that broke into his home in the middle of the night.

    Meantime, the shooting,stabbings and acid attacks continue apace.
    Cressida Dick,head of the Met Police vows to check gang member’s tax returns.

    etc ed

    • mancunius
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      She’s also talking about infiltrating the gangs. But isn’t she going to look rather obvious? 🙂

      • APL
        Posted April 10, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        mancunius: “She’s also talking about infiltrating the gangs”

        As Home secretary and now Prime Minister, Theresa May has left her imprint on the warp and weft of British society.

        We won’t forget her in a hurry.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Bob: “Met Police vows to check gang member’s tax returns. ”

      Before or after they’ve been stabbed to death?

  40. isp001
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Financial crisis hit and we were told that this needed a mixture of tax rises and austerity. Now we see workers in the NHS complaining about safety….and then dropping their complaints once they get some money. If we are rolling back austerity, when do you roll back the tax rises?

    If you want somewhere to start the >60% rate above 100k would be a good one. The dumbest tax in the world – a stealth tax on the rich. The people paying it know they are paying it. The people not paying it are somehow under the impression high earners aren’t paying their share. Bad economics and bad politics.

    You can also restore full rights to contribute to pensions – the withdrawal of which is designed, as with almost all taxes, to hit anybody other than a high ranking civil servant working in the treasury. Withdrawal starts at 150k…which is just above government max pay (given the government undervalues the accrual of pension benefits and thus understates pay creating another tax benefit windfall if you are in the public sector).

  41. Gummy
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    What about medicinal uses of sugar?. Why should I have to grow sugar beet secretly in my attic just to cure my arthritis and sunburn?

  42. Atlas
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    It is fascinating that in the ‘blame game’ when it is the government who has goofed over diesel, there is great silence from ‘our betters in the Civil Service – or their puppet Ministers’.

  43. Ron Olden
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    We replace our cars too often and drive too much as it is. In any case the majority of new car sales by value in the UK are imported.

    Plainly individuals and businesses are managing fine with their existing cars. No purpose is served by supporting unnecessary demand and useless consumption, so as to keep going existing industries, the majority of the emand for which, is served by imports.

    Perhaps the money that people save by not replacing their cars will be spent on domestically produced services instead, and UK Car Manufacturers will just have to export more cars to keep going.

    I read a year or so ago that the 5p Carrier Bag charge had caused an 80% fall in sales of Carrier Bags and caused a Carrier Bag factory to shut down….Good….. it worked.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Not for the people working there though. Who have families to support.

  44. lojolondon
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    John you are absolutely correct here. A reminder or a similarly unhinged situation : weeks before the referendum, the government increased the stamp duty rate, introduced new taxes and cut tax allowances on buy-to-let properties. Two results – immediately the price of houses stopped rising, even falling in some areas. Secondly, a massive fall in home building, as BTL buyers left the market in droves. Now the government says it is going to enter a long, complex and expensive plan to stimulate home building. It is just so exasperating, words fail me.

  45. forthurst
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    JR is still upset because he was conned into buying a diesel engined car in order to savetheplanet because of the marginally lower levels of carbon dioxide, a noxious gas essential to plant life, which they produce. Diesel engines compensate for their planet saving capacities by spewing out more NOx and particulates (soot). Diesel engines are bound to produce more NOx because they operate at much higher compression ratios; they also tend to produce more particulates because diesel is not volatile like petrol, which easily forms a vaporous explosive mixture; consequently, partially burned droplets of diesel can still exist during the exhaust cycle. Politicians do science by trial and error; in fact politicians do everything by trial and error.

    Reply Not at all. If this was about my car I would not be writing it up on this website!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      So you do not drive a diesel then ?

  46. nigel seymour
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    The same old story John that hit’s the driver in the pocket all the time. Drivers are a cash cow for gov as it’s the easiest form of tax raising. I can’t be bothered to blab on!!

  47. MikeP
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    You can’t be the only MP John to understand how efficient and non-polluting modern diesel engines are, nor how important new car sales are for our economy (though fewer imports would help our balance of trade). So why didn’t you all vote down these tax changes when the Finance Act came before Parliament??

    Reply There was a strong majority for the proposals

  48. British Spy
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP made certain remarks on the Salisbury affair.
    Has he heard of anyone ever surviving a KGB Novichok attack apart from a policeman, a spy and a spy’s daughter? He should resign to save his peers, broadly speaking, laughing into his face.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Do tell us about all the other KGB Novichok attacks. We’re all ears, ‘broadly speaking’.

  49. Andy
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly the Independent has today published the US negotiating aims for its future trade deals.

    It sets out some of the things Brexit Britain will be expected to accept.

    Frankenstein foods is one – that’ll make Dr Fox happy. But also untested chemicals, scrapping the CE mark stuff like that – which necessitate a requirement for the UK to accept lower standards.

    You okay with all of that Dr Redwood? It is what you’ll have to sell to your constituents.

    Reply We have a good trade with them at the moment under WTO rules and can doubtless make improvements with a free trade agreement. That is their negotiating position in hostile language, not the end result!

    • libertarian
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


      So you’re saying the EU won’t be trading with the USA…. OK have you told the Europeans that they won’t be getting any American products?

    • David Price
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      What do you think CE means?

      It is self declared, it is not based on independent testing or validation and, for example, many Chinese products carry it meaning “China Export”.

      In short “CE” is not the gold standard of of approval protection you believe it means.

      Surely the infected eggs and horsebeef must have been a bit of a give away for you that the EU is unwilling and incapable of protecting consumers.

  50. Mark
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Part of the attack on new vehicle purchase was motivated by concerns about rising levels of consumer debt. The effect on overall household borrowing does seem to be muted:


    The attack on diesel vehicles was motivated by misunderstood medical studies, with misunderstanding propagated by the BBC and much of the press: attempts by more honest health professionals to put the studies in proper context have been largely ignored, particularly by greenstanding politicians like Gove and Hammond. The silver lining for the government perhaps is that the UK’s biggest energy imports from Russia by value are for diesel fuel.

    I now run the first diesel fuelled vehicle I have ever owned. I have to say I find it excellent, cruising quietly in sixth on the motorway, and yet with fantastic torque at low speeds for negotiating hilly country roads (the Hardknott Pass was a breeze). Fuel consumption is low enough that I have done over 700 miles between fill-ups. I have no desire to lose these benefits at the behest of ignorant ministers.

  51. Yossarion
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Just waiting on a new Mini diesel, they said delivery would be ten weeks, it’s now gone up to twenty two weeks from order, bloody BREXIT making manufactured at home products more popular.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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